Programs

BMI Programs

BMI International Conference for Brain-Mind (ICBM) is devoted to outstanding preeminent open problems in brain-mind. It is like the Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry but for Brain-Mind. It is not like the Solvay Institutes in the sense that the brain-mind needs 6-discipline knowledge as a necessary condition for understanding Brain-Mind at computational depth.

The BMI programs include the following components:

  • BMI Distinguished Speaker Series with Webinars
  • BMI Summer Courses
  • BMI Course Packages
  • BMI Conferences (sessions, panels, and workshops)
  • BMI Book Series
  • BMI Research

The BMI Course Certificate

The BMI Course Certificate certifies that the applicant has passed the course, which is useful for home institution’s requirements and possible transfer of credits. The conditions for receiving a BMI Course Certificate include a successful pass of the course.

Distinguished Speaker Series with Webinars

As a publicity and motivational component of the BMI, this series runs during Fall and Spring semesters. It provides live webcasts via Internet so that every seminar is accessible everywhere in the world. These seminars present the latest advances in related disciplines and raise new issues and new questions. The webinar speakers will be organizers and instructors during the BMI summer institute.

BMI Summer Courses

Unlike some existing summer institutes that run thematically, the BMI courses are systematic courses, designed for applicants who are interested in knowing how natural intelligence and artificial intelligence can help each other. BMI summer courses for brain-mind research are different from traditional courses in the following aspects:

  • Flexible pre-requisite to be admitted to BMI. The instructors will consider special cases, especially from other disciplines.
  • The material taught is oriented toward a wide variety of audience, including physical sciences, engineering, and social sciences.
  • The BMI conferences are associated with courses to provide settings for interactions among participants in a variety of disciplines.
  • BMI textbooks are written by well-known researchers.
  • Single course certificate: Pass or take exam for one of BMI courses.

A typical BMI intensive course requires 3 lecture hours plus 6 – 9 preparation hours per day, spanning 3 weeks. This amounts to 3 credits (not MSU credits), possibly transferable to the home institution of an applicant. For those who cannot be present at the on-site instruction, distance learning option is offered. But past experience has demonstrated that on-site participants did considerably better than off-site participants.

In the following, BM is the acronym for “Brain-Mind”. Each of the disciplines below is too large to be covered by a single course. Each BMI course will only cover material that is most related to brain-mind. Furthermore, examples in each discipline that are related to brain mechanisms will be discussed in each course. Therefore, each BMI course should be significantly different from a typical course that have a similar title but offered elsewhere. As far as we know, only the BMI currently offers such a series of brain-integrated courses because the material of each BMI course is guided by the whole-brain theory, through the course instructors and course discussions. The planned courses include:

  • BMI 811 Biology for Brain-Mind Research: 3 credits. Interactions of evolution and development. Fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology. The structure and regulation of genes, the structure and synthesis of proteins, how molecules are integrated into cells, how these cells are integrated into multicellular systems and organisms. Brain diseases.
  • BMI 821 Neuroscience for Brain-Mind Research: 3 credits. Prerequisite: (BMI 811 or equivalent). Principles underlying the structure and function of the nervous system. Topics include development of the nervous system and its connections, sensory systems of the brain, motor systems, neural modulatory systems, higher cortical functions, and behavioral and cellular analyses of learning and memory. Pain, stress, depression, ADD/ADHD, and addiction.
  • BMI 831 Cognitive Science for Brain-Mind Research: 3 credits. A survey of the psychological subjects, with an emphasis on cognitive science, learning and memory.   Principles of animal learning and behavior, including habituation, sensitization, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, extinction, blocking, rehearsal, transfer, serial pattern learning, chunking, and language comprehension.
  • BMI 841 Mathematics for Brain-Mind Research: 3 credits. Vectors and vector space. Linear space and nonlinear space. Probability, density, distribution. Mean, variance, covariance, and correlation. Multivariate distribution. Eigenvectors and eigenvalues. Entropy and mutual information. Statistical estimators, minimum variance estimation, and the Cramér-Rao lower bound. Brain related examples.
  • BMI 851 Electrical Engineering for Brain-Mind Research: 3 credits. Prerequisite: (BMI 841 or equivalent). Signals and systems. Linear and nonlinear systems. Peripheral components such as A/D converters. Signal processing and controller techniques. Fourier transforms. Filters and their space and frequency domain properties. Digital and analog circuits. Very large scale integrated circuits. Neural nets and neural net computers. Brain related examples.
  • BMI 861 Brain Automata: 3 credits. This course is intended for those majoring in biology, neuroscience, psychology, electrical engineering, and all others who have not learned the theory of Turing Machines. Students will learn the symbolic brain theory related to how the brain works, leaving the emergent brain theory to BMI 871. Agents. Continuous time and discrete time. Mathematical induction. Finite Automata. Concepts as actions. Spacial abstraction. Temporal abstraction. Turing Machines. Universal Turing Machines. Von Neumann computers. Rules vs. data. Formal languages. The controller of a Turing machine is a Finite Automaton. Brains as ground Turing Machines.
  • BMI 871 Computational Brain-Mind: 3 credits. Prerequisite: BMI 811 & BMI 821 & BMI831 & BMI 841 & BMI 851 & BMI 861, or approval of the instructor. Computational biological brain development. Machine’s symbolic representations. Brain’s emergent representations and architectures. Brain’s spatial representations. Brain’s temporal representations. Brain’s perception, cognition, attention, learning, behaviors, abstraction, reasoning, decision making, thinking. Vision, audition, touch, multimodality, and integration. Modulatory system: reinforcement, motivation and emotion. The above material is detailed down to neuronal computation without a central controller.

An applicant who has completed a BMI course should be ready to take the corresponding BMI subject test at the end of the course.

Course Packages

Those who prefer to learn at their own pace can get the corresponding course packages.

Course Textbook Lecturer Included in the package Notes Price Payment
BMI 831
Cognitive Science
Mark A. Gluck, et al. Learning and Memory: From Brain to Behavior, 2nd edition, ISBN: 978-1429240147, Worth, New York, 2013 J. Weng Lectures in video, Power Point slides, homework assignments, 3 exams and grading, individual office hours via skype. BMI 831 course certificates will be issued for those who pass the exams. $970 Pay through PayPal or contact weng@cse.msu.edu
BMI 871
Computational Brain-Mind
Juyang Weng. Natural and Artificial Intelligence: Introduction to Computational Brain-Mind, BMI Press, 2012. J. Weng Lectures in video, Power Point slides, homework assignments, 3 exams and grading, individual office hours via skype. BMI 871 course certificates will be issued for those who pass the exams. $970 Pay through PayPal or contact weng@cse.msu.edu

International Conference on Brain-Mind

Each summer, BMI will hold International Conference on Brain-Mind, which includes keynote talks and sessions, plus possible other formates, to provide a multi-disciplinary communication platform for exchanging latest research ideas and results. This environment is an integrated part of the BMI 6DC program.

BMI Research

BMI research is conducted by BMI members on subjects related to brain-mind. Brain storming and teaming activities during workshops are encouraged.

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